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Mobile health in emerging countries: a survey of research initiatives in Brazil.
Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Comp & Digital Syst Engn, Sao Paulo, Brazil.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9005-0543
Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Comp & Digital Syst Engn, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Comp & Digital Syst Engn, Sao Paulo, Brazil.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5227-7165
Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Comp & Digital Syst Engn, Sao Paulo, Brazil.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0821-0614
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2013 (English)In: International Journal of Medical Informatics, ISSN 1386-5056, E-ISSN 1872-8243, Vol. 82, no 5, p. 283-298Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a comprehensive survey of mobile health (mHealth) research initiatives in Brazil, discussing current challenges, gaps, opportunities and tendencies.

METHODS: Systematic review of publicly available electronic documents related to mHealth, including scientific publications, technical reports and descriptions of commercial products. Specifically, 42 projects are analyzed and classified according to their goals. This analysis considers aspects such as security features provided (if any), the health condition that are focus of attention, the main providers involved in the projects development and deployment, types of devices used, target users, where the projects are tested and/or deployed, among others.

RESULTS: The study shows a large number (86%) of mHealth solutions focused on the following categories: health surveys, surveillance, patient records and monitoring. Meanwhile, treatment compliance, awareness raising and decision support systems are less explored. The main providers of solutions are the universities (56%) and health units (32%), with considerable cooperation between such entities. Most applications have physicians (55%) and Community Health Agents (CHAs) (33%) as targeted users, the latter being important elements in nation-wide governmental health programs. Projects focused on health managers, however, are a minority (5%). The majority of projects do not focus on specific diseases but rather general health (57%), although solutions for hearth conditions are reasonably numerous (21%). Finally, the lack of security mechanisms in the majority of the surveyed solutions (52%) may hinder their deployment in the field due to the lack of compliance with general regulations for medical data handling.

CONCLUSION: There are currently many mHealth initiatives in Brazil, but some areas have not been much explored, such as solutions for treatment compliance and awareness raising, as well as decision support systems. Another research trend worth exploring refers to creating interoperable security mechanisms, especially for widely explored mHealth categories such as health surveys, patient records and monitoring. Challenges for the expansion of mHealth solutions, both in number and coverage, include the further involvement of health managers in the deployment of such solutions and in coordinating efforts among health and research institutions interested in the mHealth trend, possibly exploring the widespread presence of CHAs around the country as users of such technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 82, no 5, p. 283-298
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-40062DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2013.01.003ISI: 000318998000016PubMedID: 23410658OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-40062DiVA, id: diva2:903005
Available from: 2016-02-12 Created: 2016-02-12 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Secure and Privacy-aware Data Collection and Processing in Mobile Health Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Secure and Privacy-aware Data Collection and Processing in Mobile Health Systems
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Healthcare systems have assimilated information and communication technologies in order to improve the quality of healthcare and patient's experience at reduced costs. The increasing digitalization of people's health information raises however new threats regarding information security and privacy. Accidental or deliberate data breaches of health data may lead to societal pressures, embarrassment and discrimination. Information security and privacy are paramount to achieve high quality healthcare services, and further, to not harm individuals when providing care. With that in mind, we give special attention to the category of Mobile Health (mHealth) systems. That is, the use of mobile devices (e.g., mobile phones, sensors, PDAs) to support medical and public health. Such systems, have been particularly successful in developing countries, taking advantage of the flourishing mobile market and the need to expand the coverage of primary healthcare programs. Many mHealth initiatives, however, fail to address security and privacy issues. This, coupled with the lack of specific legislation for privacy and data protection in these countries, increases the risk of harm to individuals. The overall objective of this thesis is to enhance knowledge regarding the design of security and privacy technologies for mHealth systems. In particular, we deal with mHealth Data Collection Systems (MDCSs), which consists of mobile devices for collecting and reporting health-related data, replacing paper-based approaches for health surveys and surveillance. This thesis consists of publications contributing to mHealth security and privacy in various ways: with a comprehensive literature review about mHealth in Brazil; with the design of a security framework for MDCSs (SecourHealth); with the design of a MDCS (GeoHealth); with the design of Privacy Impact Assessment template for MDCSs; and with the study of ontology-based obfuscation and anonymisation functions for health data.

Abstract [en]

Information security and privacy are paramount to achieve high quality healthcare services, and further, to not harm individuals when providing care. With that in mind, we give special attention to the category of Mobile Health (mHealth) systems. That is, the use of mobile devices (e.g., mobile phones, sensors, PDAs) to support medical and public health. Such systems, have been particularly successful in developing countries, taking advantage of the flourishing mobile market and the need to expand the coverage of primary healthcare programs. Many mHealth initiatives, however, fail to address security and privacy issues. This, coupled with the lack of specific legislation for privacy and data protection in these countries, increases the risk of harm to individuals. The overall objective of this thesis is to enhance knowledge regarding the design of security and privacy technologies for mHealth systems. In particular, we deal with mHealth Data Collection Systems (MDCSs), which consists of mobile devices for collecting and reporting health-related data, replacing paper-based approaches for health surveys and surveillance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016. p. 28
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2016:47
Keyword
Mobile health, information security, data privacy, data collection, personal health data
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Research subject
Computer Science; Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-46982 (URN)978-91-7063-730-8 (ISBN)
Presentation
2016-12-13, 21A342 - Eva Erikssonsalen, Karlstads universitet, 651 88, Karlstad, 15:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-22 Created: 2016-10-31 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Iwaya, Leonardo HSimplício, M ACarvalho, T C M B

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